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The Eminence in Shadow Episode 2 Review – Best In Show

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The Eminence in Shadow Episode 2 – Quick Summary

In The Eminence in Shadow Episode 2, “Shadow Garden is Born,” Cid Kagenou felt very surprised to wake up in the body of a newborn baby in a noble household. He was even more surprised to learn magic existed in his new world. Suddenly, he saw a clear path toward his dream of becoming the eminence in shadow. Another means to that end came as he practiced his sword skills against some bandits. The cargo they had stolen included something Cid had never seen before. He sensed it had enormous potential. What exactly was this thing? Will it be the boon he hoped it would be? And when will his older sister ever figure out he’s been holding back during their training sessions?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Favorite Quote from The Eminence in Shadow Episode 2

The Eminence in Shadow Episode 2: Alpha was way ahead of Cid in terms of planning

Dude better buckle up. It’s not going to be easy keeping up with Alpha! Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

Now I get it. The first episode almost had me convinced they were going to play it straight. Or at least, mostly. But no. Cid is following in the footsteps of Ainz Ooal Gown, but with one huge and critical difference. He might be chūnibyō, but he’s not an evil undead overlord bent on enslaving the world.

I like that in a character.

My favorite quote demonstrates something that stood out to me in this episode: the women so far are intelligent, strong, driven, and diligent. In fact, I’d like to call them frighteningly competent, until after further reflection, I’d replace “frighteningly” with “delightfully.” 

Alpha regained consciousness after Cid cured her of Demon Possession. Did you notice how she seemed taken aback that she was naked, but as the conversation went on, it became less of an issue? Her confidence asserted itself.

As soon as Cid had given her his made-up story about the Cult of Diablo and how he wanted to recruit her, she became serious. Very, very serious. She got right in his face (and I had to chuckle at how much taller she was) and said (10:18), “As we expand our organization, we’ll need to strengthen our base of operations accordingly. We’ll need to collect funds to that end.”

She’s already planning! She just joined the “organization,” and she’s already figuring it all out. I like that in a character, too!

Best in Show Moment for The Eminence in Shadow Episode 2

The Eminence in Shadow Episode 2: Cid's cliches might have been more than they seemed

“Playtime’s over,” Cid said. He wasn’t kidding! Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

Setup: More Subtle Than It Seems?

I’m beginning to wonder: is Cid ridiculously lucky, or is his real power the ability to, in real time, warp reality to match his chūnibyō fantasies? I could also accept an explanation for his profound luck by pointing to the amazing talent Alpha has surrounded him with. “Alpha had collected members for Shadow Garden as if she was adopting abandoned kittens,” indeed (12:50)!

The show’s following in Overlord’s footsteps in terms of the main character (MC) being accidentally right and therefore being perceived as a genius. I enjoyed that motif in Overlord, but especially in Overlord III, I began feeling conflicted about rooting for Ainz. So far, Cid seems like a much safer protagonist to root for!

The Eminence in Shadow Episode 2: Cid had a hard time staying ahead of Alpha's questions

Cid wasn’t quite ready for Alpha’s questions. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

I am an anime-only viewer, so maybe this has been answered in the manga. But watching Cid fight Grease, and watching Cid’s mom come berate his father for not immediately seeming to give up on finding Claire, I’m beginning to wonder if this show is gently playing with shōnen tropes. It occurred to me in what I’m going to call my favorite moment. It’s my favorite because of how the ending felt.

Alpha and six other Shadow Garden members did away with Grease’s guards. Grease used a power-up pill and escaped through the floor, Beta (I think; I’m still learning the characters, but I think she might have been Snacking Elf Girl from the first episode!) commented that Greave was heading right for Cid. She thought Cid had planned that, and she said (17:30) “Lord Shadow is so brilliant!”

Delivery: Is Cid Being Meta?

Cid’s next words were: “I’m lost.” The catacombs were too much for him!

He might have been lost, but he can fight. When Grease came upon him, the villain thought he could easily trounce the smaller Cid. It wasn’t even close. Cid kept up a running commentary of lessons he was trying to teach the larger man. There was something odd about it – it was funny, because I could see his phrasing as an extension of his chūnibyō. At the same time, it fit the flow of the fight. Really well, in fact.

The Eminence in Shadow Episode 2: No question about it -- Alpha knows how to fight

Alpha easily matched Grease, step for step – and she was wearing high heels. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

Then Grease downed the whole jar of pills and became this demon-beast thing. Even then, he was no match for Cid. After he brushed aside Grease’s attack, Cid summoned one of his power slime swords.

“Playtime’s over,” he said (20:10).

It was cliche. It was over-used. It was clearly a chūnibyō phrase. But it fit the moment so perfectly I had to sit back and wonder: is The Eminence in Shadow poking gentle fun at its genre? Because if it is, that adds yet another layer of enjoyment!

What did you think of Alpha saying goodbye at the end? What were your favorite moments? Feel free to share in the comments!

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2 thoughts on “The Eminence in Shadow Episode 2 Review – Best In Show

  1. Here is what I am wondering: is high mighty shadow majesty ever going to realize that it’s all real? If so, how will he take it? And what awful thing would have to happen to get it all the way through his clueless delusions?

    And on the other side of the coin, I wonder about the girls ever realizing the truth, too.

    1. Those are great questions. I’m getting the vibe that this series might actually answer them, at least to some extent. I can’t put my finger on it yet, but I like episode 3 even more than 1. Fingers crossed it keeps that momentum!

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